We can do it

I was on the phone yesterday with my oldest. me and the boy talked about a movie that we had both watched on Netflix. The movie was don’t Look Up, it’s a dark comedy starring, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Strep, and Jonah Hill. In Don’t look up astronomers discover that an asteroid that is known as a planet killer is headed towards earth. The astronomers alert the president and dark comedy ensues. Yes the movie is very western centric in that the whole world is viewed through the lenses of someone who lives in the United States however, it is still funny and a little (emphasis on little) thought provoking. The movie was written and directed by Adam McKay and according to my oldest it was inspired by the climate change crisis we are all currently living in.

Me and the oldest discussed how despite many people denying the science all it takes is a little bit of effort from some people to make a difference. My oldest brought up the progress made on the hole in the earths ozone layer.

I grew up in the eighties so I heard a lot about the hole in the ozone layer. How big it was what damage it had done and was doing and the changes that were being made to fix it. in 1989 the Montreal Protocol was put into practice and since 1990 on the hole in the ozone has been getting smaller (sort of). Essentially the Montreal Protocol phased out the production of ozone depleting gasses (like CFCS).

The climate change crisis still rages on and it can sometimes seem bleak however with some work I know that change is possible, like my oldest said in our phone call we have a case study in the hole in the ozone proving that change is possible. Change happens through education, knowledge and application of the knowledge (some call the application of the knowledge wisdom).

Right now in short carbon being burnt and released into the atmosphere primarily through the use of fossil fuels is causing global warming and climate change. The warming and climate change is unsustainable for human life on earth. It is highly likely that if we burn fossil fuels at the same rate we will cause our own extinction. The good news is that most of the fossil fuel we burn is for transportation reasons and the experts in transportation predict that the United States of America will be a totally electric powered transportation nation by 2035. I know that this is one nation but others should follow or as in the case of the UK, whose electric car sales outnumbered diesel car sales last year, some nations will beat the United States to the finish line.

Every problem has a cause and a solution and requires action to fix it. The move to catalytic converters, unleaded gasoline and now electric cars took years of research debate activism and hard work but it happened and is happening.

Along the way progress has been stymied and people have attempted to stop it, I encourage you to educate yourself and do your best not to stand in the way of progress and the future. I cannot help but think of Blockbuster video when I think about standing in the way of progress. In September of 2000 the CEO of Blockbuster Video had the chance to buy Netflix for 20 million dollars thinking it was a joke the CEO laughed it off and the rest is like Blockbuster history.

Let us work hard to educate ourselves because society will progress and move on and survive and we for sure want to be on the side that makes it.



That tree outside

This morning I read an article that detailed how 100 leaders promised to end deforestation by 2030. The promise / plan involves money and a plan for sustainable agriculture.

My office is on the second floor and the stairs leading to it open up to an amazing view of a treetop. I know it sounds silly to some but I love these kind of views. The trees are full of life and I feel like I am peeking into an amazing home when I see the view.

Yesterday I came back from lunch and as I looked at the treetop o thought about how odd we humans are. We cut down the trees to provide shelter, and warmth, and the tree itself is a source for shelter, oxygen, food and much more. The act of cutting down the trees to survive is unsound.

In Lebanon there are the Cedars of God it is a patch of land just over 20 acres that house the last of the vast forests of Lebanon Cedars. The Cedars are massive and this remnant has survived the mass deforestation attempts for 100s of years. The cedars are spoken about in the Hebrew Bible. Unfortunately climate change now threatens these cedars.

It looks like Canada, Brazil and the United States are now at risk of loosing their forests as well. Unsustainable “progress” has destroyed countless eco systems in these countries and if this pledge is not honored these nations will be just like Lebanon.

Humanity was given a rich diverse world to be a steward of and so far we have collectively failed to be good stewards of this world. We have destroyed the forests poisoned the water and polluted the sky. The indigenous people of North and South America lived in relative harmony with the world and they have been slaughtered and their harmonious lifestyle replaced by the current destructive one. We took trees and made them landscape material.

Let’s today do our best to be stewards of life. Human life and the life all around us on this earth. If we do not try we will certainly fail and our generation. Is paying a high price now for this failure but our childrens price will be higher


There is not an “away”

This morning I pulled my trash bin to the street, I was struck with just how heavy the trash bin was this week. I think that I am getting weak or my family is generating more trash than it has last week.

Trash is an odd concept. We have things that we can no longer use so we throw them into a indoor waste bin, then when the bin is filled we place them into an outdoor bin and on Tuesday a trash truck swings by and empties my outdoor bin. The trash truck takes the trash away but there really isn’t an away is there? No not really away is a journey usually to a dump site where the trash is burnt or buried.

The concept for hell in the Old testament and Torah has roots in burning of a communities trash. The Greek work Gehenna refers to the valley of the son Himmon where trash and dead bodies were burnt. Many soldiers and veterans of the US army are getting sick and dying from living near trash burring pits. Burning our trash pollutes our environment and makes our bodies ill. When trash is burnt it is not destroyed the matter simply changes form to something poisonous.

Buried trash changes it form underground through decay and over time. The changed matter then makes it way to the communities water table and poison’s the community. The matter that does not escape the soil into the water table becomes dangerous gasses and poisons our air.

Nothing is every destroyed it just changes shape, this is the first law of thermodynamics. We are not throwing anything away when we put something into the trash.

When I was a kid I was taught that I should not litter. All trash should be put into trash cans. This lesson well good intentioned helped create a disposable consumable and dangerous culture. The idea of away made waste something that was ok and manageable through just putting something into a bin and then putting that bin on the street, this is wrong. Waste is not ok.

Starting tomorrow you will see a number on all my blog post titles. This number will be the weight of my families trash. The average U.S. American family produces 18 lbs of trash a day. I will try my best to be under the 18 lb goal. For every lb over I will donate 2 dollars to the sierra club. My donation will hopefully be small and in addition to the charities the family already supports on a regular basis.

I encourage everyone to add the sierra club to their households monthly donations. It is a great organization fighting for climate change. Here is a link for donations to that group.

We are all on this earth together and nothing we make or do goes away ever so lets make sure we make and do things that are good and not poison.